From Across the Field 5/7/2020

Looking back at past columns that I have written since 2017, this past week has arguably been the best week in terms of row crop planting, we have experienced during my time in Henry County. Even with the temperature being on the cool side, tremendous progress has been made over the past week.

Saturday was a great day to work outside and I even sunburned by arms a little bit as I mowed the yard and fired up the weed eater for a bit. Later in the afternoon as I made a lap across most of the county, I saw more tractors and planters out at one time than I have during the past two springs.

At this point, I do want to give everyone an update on the status of our office operations. Ohio State University Extension will continue its teleworking plan for all employees and keep OSU Extension offices closed. While some businesses and organizations throughout the state are starting to reopen, the physical Extension office in each county will remain closed through July 6, unless a decision is made by Ohio State to return sooner.

According to Jackie Kirby Wilkins, our OSU Extension interim director “While we are considering the guidance from the Governor’s office and are paying attention to how our local community leaders are planning for re-opening businesses, we are following the university’s lead on the transition planning process and are still intending to telework for the near future while ensuring we are meeting the needs of our clientele and community partners.”

Per previous Ohio State decision, all university in-person events are still cancelled through July 6, and Extension activities planned through July 6 will continue to be held virtually or cancelled. Ohio State will continue to evaluate and update plans based on evolving conditions with COVID-19. We will keep you updated as announcements are made and believe me, we are all looking forward to getting back!

The last 10 days have been good for growing rhubarb. In addition, I have seen the first sprig of asparagus make an appearance. When it comes to the garden, once this cold snap is over, we will be able to continue transplanting cold tolerant crops to outdoor beds. For the most frost or cold sensitive species, we have about two more weeks before the chance of frost decreases to a percentage low enough to plant high confidence that they will persist through the cooler weather. When transplanting, we don’t want to set out plants that have already set fruit. Setting fruit utilizes energy which is needed to strengthen the root system of the plant.

With our landscape and garden plants either have or are beginning to flower. From an aesthetic point of view, I really do enjoy blossoming fruit trees and shrubs. This has always been a “catch 22” as while I appreciate a variety of plants in a landscape, this represents a challenging time for myself and many others as with flowers come pollen and with pollen comes allergy season. I guess it’s time to break out the eye drops and nasal spray. I’ll end this week with a thought from William Blake: “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” Have a great week.

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